Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Art of Game Trading

So today I thought I'd talk a little about game trading. For what seems like a lot of work, it's really not that much at all. Before I start, I'm not some moron who is trying to rip anyone off, to "Get the Man", or anything stupid like that. I just like games and like to pay less for them.O play through EVERY game I buy (in the story mode). I don't nevessarily get all the gamerscore for them, but that's more a hardened gamer task, and I play because I enjoy it, not just for gamerscore.

The best comparison I've come across is to compare your game collection to a hockey team, with each game being a player. Each player has a certain value to the team, much like each game adds a certain dollar figure to the overall value of the collection.

In hockey, an NHL team drafts from a number of different sources. The CHL, USHL, undrafted players, overseas, etc. In game buying (in St. John's anyway) there are a number of different outlets for a game player to buy games. EB Games being the big one, then Microplay, GamesXchange (formerly Microplay), Entertainment Centre (formerly Nintendo World), Traders, Netherworld, the Flea Market, and the always volatile private sale. EB, Microplay, and GamesXchange offer the most quality in games, as they are the major sources of anyone's collection. Traders, Netherworld, and the Flea Market are "surprise" shopping experiences, where you'll never see the same titles on sale twice, but you may find a true value "gem", meaning a game you would typically pay 50 or 60 dollars for at EB or Microplay, but you pay 20 to 30 dollars here. Entertainment Centre can be considered the "waiver draft" of the NHL. Decent but mostly unneed parts to the collection, using it's dubbed "Wall of Shame" crap games as a way to lure customers in. The wall of shame is where you trade a game for 7 bucks and get one off the wall. Sometimes you can find a gem, but generally you don't.

The last of the lot is the big box Future Shops, Walmarts, Staples, Zellers, etc. I typically never buy from them save for a boxing week special. A good example for these was the recent boxing week special at Future shop, which had Gears of War 2, Halo Wars, and Halo 3 all for $14.99!!!! Each one of these would work for trade 3 at EB.(which is described below)

The idea of how getting games at better prices is to keep an eye on Microplay and EB. Each one of them puts on trade specials and game specials every so often and you can take advantage of them. Buy the games low, sell or trade them for higher value. It's simple. Lets take the games I purchase recently. I got Darksiders AND Bayonetta.

Side note: I'll describe trade 3 at EB. It's where a game is valued at 8 dollars or more, you can trade three of said valued games for 1 new release. How it works is that the trade value for each 8 dollar game is upped to $23.33 so you can get the value of a $69.99 game. Nothing fancy.

Anyway, I traded for each of them and didn't pay a penny. I had games in my collection that I had purchased, played through (or hated) and traded again. For Darksiders, I traded: Assassins Creed 2, and Halo Wars. While I did trade for Assassin's Creed 2 for trade 3 (back in the fall, Mass Effect 1, purchased for $14.99, traded for 23.33, Assassin's Creed 1, bought for 14.99, traded for 23.33, and Tales of Vesperia, bought for 19.99, traded for 23.33), I had played through it completely, so it was worthless to the collection now. Halo Wars I purchased for $12.50 on a boxing week special at EB and got it discounted with my EB EDGE card. I traded it for $25. So, Darksiders was $59.99. Take the $12.50 off of the game right off the top because I got $12.50 more for Halo Wars than I had purchased it for. so that drips the price to $47.49. Already discounted. Throw on top the trade values of $25 for halo wars and $40 for Assassins Creed 2, and you get left over money! So I get 20 plus hours out of AC2, about 10 out of Halo Wars, and I get Dark Siders AND credit to go towards a preorder (Which turns out to be Mass Effect 2) and I get some fun gaming time all throughout.

For Bayonetta, I traded Left for Dead ($19.99 traded for $23.33), Fallout 3 (bought for $29.99 and traded for $23.33) andPrince of Persia ($9.99 traded for $23.33). Even though the value of 1 was misbalanced, the other two well outweight the difference and I still got around $10 off of the game. On top of it, I got 50 to 60 plus hours of gaming from Fallout, another 20 plus from Prince of Persia, and Left for Dead I got about 8 to 10. So I got through 3 decent to great games and a new game on top of it.

So in the end, I've moved 5 games out that I was finished with, and picked up two others that will hold high value for some time to come.

How does this compare to a hockey team? you have 5 mid ranged players that you've drafted overtime but are not really helping your team any longer, you see 2 high end players that you want. The team that holds these 2 players wants to "stock it's closets" so to speak, so it's willing to drop the 2 high level players for the mid range players. Viola. Your team now has the two high end players that will help your team for a long time to come.

What's confusing for people is that they see the quantity of games. All they see is 5 games traded for 2. BUT... if you are finished with the games, and they are just collecting dust on your game shelf, why keep em? On top of that, you have to look at quality values. A games value degrade over time. It's like buying a car, it loses value as soon as you leave the lot with it. So, move the games as soon or shortly after you've finished with it, and use them to add more value to your collection again.

In the long run, you WILL spend money. But it's a hobby. It's not stock trading. Get over it. Doing it this way keeps your collection fresh and you in newer games.


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